Tuesday, January 1, 2019

It's OK to Choose Grace & Space

2019 is here.  Like it or not.  

We're cleaning up the remnants of Christmas with an odd sense of relief ... and as we begin to pin up our crisp new wall calendars, we're shifting gears yet once again, re-focusing on the seemingly endless expectations and demands and challenges that await.

In the process of this annual re-calibration, you might be experiencing a not-so-subtle push to set some big goals, or drum up a list of life-altering resolutions, or claim a very special One Word as your very own guiding star.

Or not.




Instead, you might be consumed with an undercurrent of anxiety or overcome with paralyzing loss.  Deepest disappointments.  Unending frustrations.  Uncertainty about the future.  Or a pile of regrets all tied together in a stranglehold of ever-present fear.

The last thing you're thinking of is figuring out the year ahead.

I have good news for you.  There's no Goals Police or Resolutions Monitor waiting to slap your hand if you don't produce.  

It really is ok if you're not interested.  Please don't go there if your only prompt is some kind of self-imposed ought or should ... or an odd fear of missing out if you don't.  Indulging in these sometimes helpful activities will only guarantee that there'll be little if any substantial follow through {accompanied by a weird sense of false guilt} if you're not prompted by genuine enthusiasm or an inner joy.

Can I encourage you to give yourself some grace and space instead?




I spotted this 2 Chronicles verse during devotions a few months ago and quickly sent it off on wings and a prayer to a sweet someone who needed a big dose of reassurance.

These sacred words in black and white hit home for her.  And if that wasn't good enough, the little obscure verse revisited her again that evening at Bible Study as the group worked through their study guide.  It was a special grace gift from God, a solid reassurance that even though there were few clues to her next step, this one thing could be true:

She could stay completely focused on Jesus and trust Him for every desperately needed grace she yearned for.  

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My friends, He's got 2019 all figured out.  And that's the loveliest grace of all ...


please don't
miss a post in 2019 ...

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sharing with 

34 comments:

  1. One of my very favorite verses! Happy New Year, Friend!

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    1. Can you believe that it's January 1st, Lulu?!

      Let's see what God will do in the coming months ...

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  2. wow - just what I was thinking - I've been receiving so much info on settin goals this week and I just wanted to relax (so I did, mainly) - thanks for this affirmation I didn't waste my life altogether and ruin the new year already! and I need to share that verse right now with a friend so I'm going to get off the computer - thanks, Linda.

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    1. Yep, relaxing is a very good thing ... and so underrated!

      And oh yes, let's spread that verse around. It's become to me a hidden gem ...

      Meanwhile, best wishes on your new linkup, Sue!
      https://welcomeheart.com/blog

      Encouraging my readers to head your way ...

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  3. I'm not a "resolution maker" Linda. I prefer to simply say, "Lord, this is me. This is my life turned over to You. Let my desire to be Yours and to pursue You with all that is within me." I started a new blog called Living in the Shadow and January 1 says it better. I absolutely agree it is okay to have space and to choose grace. I pray God will abundantly bless your 2019 with His presence and glory as you honor Him.

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    1. I feel like you've blessed us in praying that simply profound prayer here. A benediction, a dedication of sorts.

      Thank you, Bill ...

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  4. Thank you for another gift of grace in the midst of the noise that seems to crowd our world. Yes, to all of this, especially that He is the one who has it figured out and I can (though I wrestle) rest in him.

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    1. Maybe our wrestling is borne from our deep and abiding confidence in who He is ...

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  5. Wishing you a wonderful 2019 filled with hope and good health.

    God bless.

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    1. Victor, thanks for offering these new year graces from afar ...

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  6. Keeping our eyes focused on Jesus...it's always the best thing to do, at any time of the year. Thanks, Linda!

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    1. When all is said and done, He's all we have, He's all we need ...

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  7. Great post, Linda! Rely on God's resources and keep our eyes focused on Jesus! Yes, exactly, Sister!

    Hugs and blessings to you! :-)

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  8. Oh, yes, and amen, Linda! Keeping our eyes on Jesus, trusting that God has 2019 in His fully capable hands, brings such relief and comfort to me. If I have one resolution this year, it is walk more closely and humbly with the Lord.
    Blessings!

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    1. Humble. Now THERE'S a word that doesn't jive with our whole social media culture ...

      Makes me wonder WWJD if He lived on earth as a man in 2019.

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  9. A big, hearty Amen! I was thinking about writing a post along these same lines, but I might just link to yours instead. I don't know why we put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Happy 2019!

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    1. Don't you love when you discover that a fellow blogger is on the same wavelength at the same time?!

      ;-)

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  10. I am not big on resolutions at all. I do like to choose a word though and this year it is release. It's comforting and reassuring to know that God has it all under control and I can release my cares to him

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    1. Release brings to mind peace, freedom, joy. I breathe deep just thinking about it, Kara ...

      ;-)

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  11. great Bible verse. and loved your phrase annual re-calibration - so true.! I love the beginning of a new year.

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  12. I love that verse! I once used it in a bible study called What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do. Point one was "Get Your Eyes on Him" (2 Chronicles 20:12.

    Then, just today, my friend was telling me she had so many contingency plans that her contingency plans had contingency plans. I thought to myself, "I've got one contingency plan - focusing on Jesus who never leaves me or forsakes me." I tried to tell that to her, too, but she wasn't listening ;)

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    1. Contingency plans on top of more and more contingency plans sounds exhausting, doesn't it, Jerralea.

      Kind of futile.

      Sadly, sometimes we've got to hit bottom before we realize how much we desperately need the Lord ...

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  13. Happy New Year, Linda. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog:) I so appreciate your comments...so I have been slow in getting to them. I have had a terrible problem with spam comments - and the genunine ones are getting lost in the muck. I hope that your new year is off to a peace-filled start. So grateful for His grace - and, yes, need to offer myself grace more often!! Take care -

    Jennifer

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    1. Hi Jennifer- yep, I had a terrible time with spam years ago and ended up setting my comments up to have them emailed to me so I can approve and post them myself. Blogger lets you do this.

      And that's why people don't see their comments up as soon as they hit PUBLISH.

      Yes. It's a bit of a delay, but it works for me!

      ;-)

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  14. Good blog to start off the New Year! I make life too complicated. I just need to walk where I think He is leading, He will let me know when I get off track and He will guide me back to the direction I need to be going. I just need to seek him and be aware and open to what He is telling me. Hope 2019 will bring all of us closer to Him.

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    1. For sure, most of us make life way more cumbersome than it needs to be.

      And all the technology we have to wade through can make it even more overwhelming ...

      ;-(

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  15. Amen, Linda!

    I don't have any particular goals for 2019. Surviving it would be nice.

    No 'one word', either, but I do have a phrase, courtesy baseball legend Satchel Paige: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

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    1. Surviving's good. Agreed.

      And sometimes a good quote keeps us from having to be clever and re-invent the wheel, 'ya know?

      Bless you, friend, on this unsettling leg of your journey. I join the throng of your fans in keeping you in prayer.

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  16. There's so much grace here, Linda ... thank you. I have a word for 2019 and I hope to write about it soon. More importantly, though, is resting in the truth of the verse you shared. Lately, not knowing what to do has been a regular occurrence for me, but God always provides a way forward, and I know He's not going to stop anytime soon! Hugs, friend, and the happiest of new years to you.

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    1. Yes, for sure, Lois, God has a way of showing us the next right thing. And isn't that what we're yearning for?

      Not a vision for every detail of the journey ... just light for the next step ...

      Or two.

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  17. I saw this title to your blog the day I decided what I really wanted was to spend this day (Jan. 6, a sunday) at the beach and it was ok to skip regular church and let the endless always-coming waves, the fresh air, and aloneness (not loneliness) speak to me. (it's Gordon's birthday, the 13th one I have remembered and honored without my phone call to Montana to tell him Happy Birthday.
    It was very unlike me to do skip church. The title, referencing giving myself grace and space were words that jumped out of my emails in my inbox and I have remembered it. I hate setting goals (probably because of fear life happenings will make them impossible anyway) and "Words" for the year ... too trendy and wouldn't you know I have been invited to a workshop by the leader of my support group the end of the month and the suggestion is we spend some creative time considering "goals" and "Words." I am sure God has something for me in this.He's probably smiling right now.

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    1. I'm so grateful that God met you here, met you at the shoreline, and will be using you to impact others with all you're learning.

      I'm a huge fan of support groups, Carol. And yes, I'm guessing you're right, God is smiling down at you, His precious daughter.

      Keep me posted, ok?

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Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

Doesn't seem to be a place to leave your comment? Or your comment doesn't show up within an hour or so?

I'd love if you'd email me your contribution ... I'd be delighted to hand post it as soon as possible.

lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...

Linda